GIS – 16 October 2013: The work session between the Prime Minister, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, and the President of Gabon, Mr Ali Bongo Ondimba, held this afternoon at Clarisse House, was fruitful as the Republics of Mauritius and Gabon signed a General Agreement and three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) aimed at enhancing bilateral relations as well as increasing and strengthening cooperation in several sectors such as trade and investment, agriculture, and tourism, among others.
During the session, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam and Mr Ali Bongo Ondimba exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest and discussed matters and projects of common concern such as a development agenda that focus on sustainable development.
In their joint statement after the working meeting, both leaders agreed that the State Visit has further intensified the existing bilateral relations. Dr Ramgoolam stated that the presence of the Gabonese President on Mauritian soil evidenced the determination of the two countries to elevate bilateral relations to new heights.
For his part, President Bongo highlighted the ‘well-known entrepreneurism’ of the Mauritian people and expressed his admiration for the Mauritian way of doing things. Mr Bongo also spoke of the benefits and the potential areas of establishing trade and investment collaboration in his country. He urged Mauritius to explore possibilities for mutually profitable ventures. He added that by strengthening ties between our two countries, we are paving the way for a truly African south-south cooperation.
The Agreements penned between the two countries include a General Agreement to develop cooperation in a wide range of fields, namely trade and investment, Information and Communication Technologies, research, tourism and agriculture; a MoU to further develop and strengthen existing bilateral relations; and two other MoU that provide for cooperation in the area of agro-industrial development and in the field of tourism
The General Agreement and the MoUs were signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Dr Arvin Boolell, and the Gabonese Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and the Francophonie, in charge of NEPAD and Regional Integration, Mr Emmanuel Issoze, on behalf of their respective Governments.
It is to be noted that in 2012, the foreign direct investment (FDI) from Mauritius to Gabon stood at USD 30 million while the FDI flow from Gabon to Mauritius was USD one million. Mauritius’s exports to Gabon in the first two quarters of 2013 amounted to Rs 4, 528,326. Export items include medicines, handbooks, bulldozers and angledozer blades. Mauritius imports woods and books from Gabon. In the first two quarters of 2013, imports totalled Rs 1,547,878.
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